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Tokyo stocks end mixed on U.S. stimulus, vaccine concerns

(Xinhua)    10:29, October 15, 2020

TOKYO, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks ended mixed Wednesday following Wall Street's weak lead overnight, as investor sentiment was dented as a stalemate in U.S. fiscal stimulus negotiations continued and drugmakers pausing COVID-19 vaccine trials and antibody treatments caused concern.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 24.95 points, or 0.11 percent, from Tuesday to close the day at 23,626.73.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, lost 5.20 points, or 0.32 percent, to finish at 1,643.90.

Trading got off to a downbeat start on the back of Wall Street declining overnight, with investors concerned about the prospect of a stimulus package in the United States much needed in the midst of the adverse economic effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Investor hopes for the U.S. coronavirus relief package faded further, however, as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected a 1.8 trillion U.S. dollar coronavirus relief proposal from the White House.

Adding to a downbeat mood were drugmakers Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly and Co. halting their coronavirus vaccine candidate and antibody treatment trials due to safety concerns, with at least one person becoming ill in one of the trials, according to sources close to the matter.

"The market struggled for a clear direction as investors look to more trading cues, including vaccine development and an early agreement on additional U.S. fiscal stimulus," Chihiro Ota, general manager of investment research at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., was quoted as saying.

Retail and precision instrument issues led notable gainers, while air transportation, and iron and steel issues comprised those that declined the most.

Retailers finding favor after reporting better-than-expected earnings reports, included Izumi climbing 6.3 percent, while J. Front Retailing added 3.1 percent.

Apple-related issues lost ground on profit-taking after the firm unveiled its latest iPhone series at an overnight event.

TDK Corp shed 0.08 percent, while Taiyo Yuden edged down almost 0.3 percent. Alps Alpine dropped 3.3 percent, while Kyocera slipped 0.4 percent.

Financial issues followed their U.S. peers lower, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group retreating 1 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group ended the day 1.7 percent lower.

"The moves are quite subtle when only looking at the Nikkei share average. But the Mothers Index is renewing highs and semiconductor stocks are still strongly sought after," Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities, was quoted as saying.

Semiconductor issues outperforming included, Lasertec Corp. edging up 0.1 percent, while Tokyo Electron Ltd. gained 2.6 percent.

Among headline decliners, Nippon Steel dropped 3.8 percent, following reports it plans to sell two U.S. plants as part of its global cost-cutting and restructuring efforts.

ANA Holdings, meanwhile, dived 4.6 percent, after reports the company will cut monthly wages for all workers by 5 percent as well as lower bonuses.

Issues that fell outpaced those that rose by 1,355 to 735 on the First Section, while 86 ended the day unchanged.

On the main section on Wednesday, 967.37 million shares changed hands, rising from Tuesday's volume of 870.81 million shares.

The turnover on the third trading day of the week came to 1.945 trillion yen (18.442 billion U.S. dollars).

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhange Wenjie, Bianji)

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